Fossil fuels

By Oleksandr Koliakin

Fossil fuels are, as the name suggests, made out of remains of dead plants and animals. Fossil fuels include coal, oil and different kinds of natural gas. Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons, meaning that their molecules are made out of hydrogen and carbon.

Fossil fuels are our main source of energy. Most power plants on earth work by burning fossil fuels and then using the heat energy produced to heat up water. The water turns into steam and drives the turbines, which produce electricity.

A lot of scientist are now concerned about the fact that fossil fuels contribute to global warming. Burning fuels such as carbon releases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) into the atmosphere. These gasses are known as greenhouse gasses since they trap heat in the atmosphere, causing the planet to warm. This can cause lots of species of animals to go extinct, as well as causing water levels around the globe to rise (since the ice and snow in Antarctica and the Arctic is slowly melting). This is why humans must switch to other sources of energy that don't cause as much damage to our planet.


- Sciencia (book)

- Our planet: Glaciers (documentary)